Chamber Donates to Local Pantry

The annual golf outing hosted by the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Oconto Area Chamber providing much entertainment and networking, but also was able to raise funds to local food pantries. The Oconto Falls Area Chamber donated roughly $825 to Kingdom Come Food Pantry in Oconto Falls.

During the recent check presentation held on October 12, 2021, a few of the board members were given tours of the facility. The pantry has been able to support over 600 families during the peak of COVID, and maintains an average of about 250 families weekly. All of the support to clients is done by a group of dedicated volunteers, showing up weekly to ensure others’ needs are met.

The facility has grown over the years, quickly being filled with needed items for the community. Walk-in coolers and freezers have been critical in providing plenty of grocery goods and dairy products. Another addition is the Retail Store, which is filled with new or gently used clothing and home goods at below-retail prices. A diaper drive is also available to clients once per month.

For more information about the pantry and how you, too, can help, please visit: https://www.kingdomcomefoodpantry.com/

Ribbon Cutting held for Iverson’s Piggly Wiggly

The Oconto Falls Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome new member, Iverson’s Piggly Wiggly!

Iverson has been a long-time employee of the store and is making changes to upgrade the facility in both public-facing areas and behind the scenes. New to the store are self check-outs, energy-saving screens on open dairy cases, freezer doors, and the constructed car wash behind the store. Renovations have started with a new store layout and will continue to be added.

The ribbon cutting was held on Monday, October 11, 2021, and was celebrated by new owner, Bryce Iverson, employees of the grocery store, and other chamber members. A light breakfast and coffee was available.

Colorectal Cancer Screening: 45 is the new 50!

Prevea Health and its Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospital partners in Eastern Wisconsin are reminding all about the importance of colon cancer screening as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated its guidelines for colon cancer screening.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends adults age 45 to 75 be screened for colon cancer, and adults age 76 to 85 ask their doctor if they should be screened. Previously, it was recommended adults begin colon cancer screening at age 50. The reduction in age from 50 to 45 is in part due to new findings from USPSTF that an estimated 10.5% of new colorectal cancer cases occur in persons younger than 50 years. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of death for both men and women, with an estimated 52,980 people in the U.S. projected to die of colon cancer in 2021.

Colonoscopy, one of the most common and effective ways to screen for colon cancer, is provided by Prevea Health gastroenterologists at four hospitals throughout Eastern Wisconsin: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls. To schedule a colonoscopy with Prevea Health in Green Bay and Oconto Falls, please call (920) 429-1700; and in Sheboygan, please call (920) 457-4400.

“The earlier we can detect any signs of colon cancer that may be present or in its pre-cancerous stages, the better chance we have of eliminating it and keeping you healthy,” says Dr. Chaitanya Pant, gastroenterologist at Prevea Health. “To anyone who may be postponing their colonoscopy, please, do not delay this important care any longer. The Prevea Digestive Health team and its HSHS hospital partners are prepared to get you the preventive care you need in the safest, most comfortable way possible.”

While most insurance carriers are approving colonoscopy coverage beginning at age 45, patients are highly encouraged to check with their insurance carrier to verify coverage. Increased risk patients may need earlier and more frequent screening depending upon recommendation by a health care provider.

People at an increased risk for colon cancer include:

  • Those with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
  • Those with a personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
  • Those with chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

In addition to regular screening for colon cancer, you may also be able to lower your risk by:

  • Avoiding foods high in fat
  • Adding plenty of vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber foods to your diet
  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation

Warning signs of colon cancer can include:

  • Blood in or on the stool
  • Recurrent shifts in normal bowel habits such as experiencing diarrhea or constipation for no known reason
  • Thinning of the stool
  • Increases in stomach discomfort (bloating, gas, fullness and/or cramps that last more than a few days)
  • A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Constant and unexplained fatigue

For more information about colon cancer screening, prevention, and treatment, please click here.

Keeping Schools Healthy

The Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce was awarded a Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift (TRAVEL) Stimulus Grant. Part of the operations use must support COVID-19 safety precautions and equipment to public-facing facilities. The Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce purchased 28 boxes of hand sanitizer to deliver to our local businesses in an effort to keep consumers and employees safe. The remaining boxes were donated to the local schools to keep schools’ students and staff healthy.

Pictured is Dean Hess, Superintendent of Oconto Falls School District and Colleen Hillberg, Secretary at Oconto Falls Elementary School, receiving 2 cases of hand sanitizer.

September is Chamber Month

September is Chamber Month, so here are 7 Reasons to Shop Locally:

  1. Keep Money Local – Sales tax fund our communities. 
  2. Keep Local Investments – Local businesses are more likely to work harder to stay open. Decisions are made by those within our community and feel the impact of those decisions.
  3. Indirect Support for Nonprofits – Businesses support good work in our community. Nonprofits receive 250% more support from local businesses versus larger ones. 
  4. Find Something Unique – Unique, quaint shops offer items customers do not normally see. Inventory is often determined by customers’ desires. Show pride in your community and protect these businesses.
  5. Product Knowledge and Service – Owners and employees are well informed about what they are selling. They aren’t just selling a product or offering a service; they are selling you their reputation and their name is on the line.
  6. Cost – Sometimes prices are just better because there is less overhead; some businesses are even able to negotiate prices with you!
  7. Get Connected – Visiting local shops allows you the opportunity to learn about your neighbors and community.

The next time you hear “shop locally,” you know you’ll be making a difference in ways you may not have realized before!

Kayak Launches Added to Area Waterway

The Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce recently added two kayak launches, one at East Side Beach and one at the West Side Beach to encourage community members and visitors to enjoy our little piece of heaven – the Oconto River.

This project was made possible thanks to a grant awarded to the Chamber from Community Change, a customer-based donation program offered by Oconto Electric Cooperative. Ownership of the launches will be handed over to the City of Oconto Falls; they will store and maintain the launches and install and remove them each season.

The Chamber encourages community members to utilize the launches and take some time to appreciate the area’s beautiful scenery and focus on physical and mental health.

Fast-paced Comedy Coming to Abrams Stage

From left, Mike Eserkaln, Preston Pelegrin, Elizabeth Jolly, and Bobby Buffington rehearse for the Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. musical comedy, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Tickets are on sale now at Abramstheater.com.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. invites the community to its fast-paced comedy, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Tickets are on sale now for this PG-13 show to be presented Sept. 16-19 and Sept. 23-26 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater in Abrams. The show, directed by Wayne Strei, is one of the few musical farces in Broadway history.

“Perhaps the most recent show in that category is ‘The Producers’. Both are fast-paced, irreverent and bawdy,” Strei said. “The comedy is straight out of vaudeville and certainly not politically correct! It’s a very entertaining evening in the theatre.”

The show features local actors from their teens to their 60s.

“Everyone gets a few chances to strut their stuff. I am thrilled that at every rehearsal someone else gets a new laugh or a different response to their line that sets us off on a new adventure on stage,” Strei said.

The music and lyrics were written by a young Stephen Sondheim, and the script was written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Gelbart wrote many of the television scripts for MAS*H.

Opening night of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is Thursday, Sept. 16, with a 7 p.m. show and celebratory gala. The audience is invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the cast and crew after the performance.
Additional performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18 and 24-25 and at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19 and 26. All shows will be performed at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.
Tickets can be purchased online at AbramsTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 920-826-5852.
“If you are looking for a joyful and colorful evening in the theatre, this could be just what the doctor ordered – if your doctor is one of The Three Stooges,” Strei said.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International and produced by After Dark Productions, a division of Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. Some material might be unsuitable for children.

Bond Foundation Grants $50,000 to Nurse’s Nook in Oconto County

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce a grant from the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation, Inc. that will support the Nurse’s Nook program in Oconto County.

Nurse’s Nook, a program of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, provides aid to children and families in need in all five school districts in Oconto County. The program provides aid such as food, personal hygiene products, clothing, medical supplies/devices and transportation assistance for medical appointments.

“As a rural health care provider, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital recognizes that these Oconto
County students are not just local children – they are our patients,” said Chris Brabant, President and CEO, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “Continued action is necessary to meet their basic health care needs. Addressing these needs provides youth with increased opportunities to learn and succeed in school, and become healthy, contributing community members.”

The Bond Foundation has granted $50,000 this year to enhance the efforts of Nurse’s Nook.

“We are immensely grateful to the Bond Foundation for their generous support of this program which is critical to the health and well-being of so many throughout this region,” said Brabant.

It is estimated Nurse’s Nook is utilized by students and families at participating schools more than 750 times each week. In addition, Nurse’s Nook distributes an average of 193 food bags each week. This helps families cover their weekend meals and improve the health and nutrition of children.

Jayden Arndt Awarded Lester and Rosemary Korbel Scholarship

Jayden Arndt, daughter of Jerry and Sara Arndt from Little Suamico, was recently recognized as the recipient of the 2021 Lester and Rosemary Korbel Business Scholarship at Oconto Falls High School.

Jayden has demonstrated a commitment to her Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter by being elected as an officer this year and being an active member for all four years of her high school career. As a dedicated team member of the competition team, Jayden placed second in this year’s State FBLA Competition and earned the honor to compete at the National Level in June, 2021. As an enthusiastic volunteer, she has given over 50 hours of her time and talents to community service projects and continues her involvement in other high school activities, including softball, volleyball, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. In fall, Jayden plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison to pursue a degree in Nursing.

The Lester and Rosemary Korbel Memorial Scholarship was established to recognize the tremendous dedication and commitment to excellence required in the field of Business Education. As the former teachers of the Business Education department at Oconto Falls High School for over 30 years, Lester and Rosemary dedicated their lives to the students at Oconto Falls High School, setting an exceptionally high standard for business education students to develop their skills and build upon them to create a successful future.

OFHS Music Department 2021 Scholarships awarded

The Oconto Falls High School Music Department recently awarded $100 scholarships to eight deserving seniors in the Class of 2021. Each student has been a member of the music department for the past four years and completed an essay on how music has made a difference in their lives. This year’s recipients are:

  • Victoria Athey (Band), will be attending St. Norbert College to pursue a degree in Theatre and Business Communications. Parents: Will and Staci Athey
  • Madeline Haines (Band), plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison to pursue a degree in English, with an emphasis in creative writing. Parents: Jerry and Kim Haines
  • Casey Fischer (Band), plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. Parents: Tony and Kim Fischer
  • Samantha Landvick (Band), plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay to pursue a undeclared major. Parent: Michael Landvick
  • Gabrielle Wellnitz (Band & Choir, will be attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls to study Animal Science – Meat Animals, and take Pre-Veterinary courses. Parent: Bessie Wellnitz
  • Connor Romandine (Choir), plans to attend the University of Montana to pursue a degree in Musical Theatre. Parents: Ron and Carrie Romandine